Hey Stepmom, don’t sweat the parent teacher conference!

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I’m a wife, stepmom x3 and mom x 1 who when I couldn’t find the stepmom support I was looking for, decided to create it myself. I love mac + cheese, distressed denim, sauvignon blanc and all things Dateline. 

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Hi, I'm JAMIE


Should a stepmom attend parent teacher night Should a stepmom attend meet the teacher night

So the kids are headed back to school!

As much as I love the lack of routine throughout the summer holidays, I am a creature of habit and there is something about September and back to school that just makes me giddy. I love structure, routine and the predictability that comes with the Fall. 

However, that doesn’t mean that the back-to-school season doesn’t come with some extra stressors, especially when you’re co-parenting with your husband’s ex-wife.  

A huge stressor for many stepmoms during those first few weeks of the school year is the “Parent Teacher Conference”

The burning question is, should a stepmom go to this meeting?

If you’re a stepmom who is actively involved in your stepchildren’s education, who helps them with their homework, and typically takes care of all things school related, then yes it totally makes sense for you to go. 

BUT that doesn’t mean that you should. 

*gasp* 

Yes! I said it.  I’m not a huge proponent for a Stepmom attending parent teacher conferences IF it is going to cause conflict in their co-parenting dynamic. 

Especially in high conflict co-parenting situations, there are many moms who adamantly don’t want the stepmom at the conference. They don’t think it’s their place and simply don’t want them there. Right or wrong, it’s how they feel. 

In fact, there are many scenarios where a Stepmoms attendance at a parent teacher conference becomes a HUGE issue. 

Look in a perfect world, you’d all attend together.

You’d sit in front of the teacher and present as a united front, telling her how you all work together to co-parent effectively, are always on the same page and sing oh holy co-parenting kum ba ya

That’s in a perfect world. 
Unfortunately those situations are the minority.  

If you’re a Stepmom who is in this situation (the conflict over parent teacher conference one, not the kum ba ya one), I’m going to give you my two cents.

And before you get your panties in a bunch, and click unfollow, hear me out! 

When you look at the big picture, the Parent Teacher Conference doesn’t freaking matter. 
Your attendance doesn’t determine the level of involvement in their education.
It doesn’t determine what type of stepmom you are. 
It doesn’t signify how much you love them. 
It doesn’t determine whether or not you’re viewed as a parental figure at by the school. 
It just doesn’t. 
And most importantly, it’s not worth the fight. 

Seriously it’s not. There are a lot of issues that are worth fighting for when it comes to co-parenting, but this meeting just isn’t one of them. 

In fact, I question whether stepmoms who are adamant about attending this meeting with the ex, are more concerned about marking their territory and making a point, than they are the kids education. 

There are so many solutions here to help avoid conflict when the Parent Teacher Conference becomes an issue. 

You can introduce yourself to the teacher at a later date. 
You can schedule a separate meeting with you and your husband. 
Have your husband speak about your involvement while he is at the meeting himself and have him relay all the information when he goes home. 

Plain and simple, If it’s going to be a big deal, just don’t go! 

I once heard a stepmom say that she doesn’t think it’s fair for the teacher to have to schedule two meetings because everyone can’t get along. I get it. If every family required two meetings, it would really add up. 

BUT do you know what’s also not fair?

For a teacher to have to sit in the middle of an awkward pissing match between the stepmom and mom. 

Look, I know I may be coming across a little harsh here but, really? Let’s not sweat the small stuff here people! 

Personally, in our home, I am the one who is on top of the homework and takes care of everything school related. I sign the forms, I make sure lunches are made, I make sure homework is done, I do the nightly reading, and chat about future course selection and career goals. 

I have never attended a Parent Teacher Conference. 

Not because I am uninvolved with the kid’s education, because I just don’t see my attendance as necessary. 

Ladies, it’s about picking your battles, and truthfully, in my opinion, this isn’t one of them. 

At the end of the day, even though it makes sense for all parental figures to attend, sometimes keeping the peace is better than being right. 


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Would you like to improve your co-parenting relationship this school year?
How great would it be to avoid miscommunications, communicate more effectively with the school, your husband’s ex-wife and ensure everyone is on the same page?

Well this FREE guide will help you make that happen! 

 

 

 

Comments +

  1. blendedwithgrace@gmail.com says:

    Spot on! Well stated truth.

  2. samanthawooten25@gmail.com says:

    I’m on the same page as you Jamie! It’s not worth the fight!

  3. chelseybabs@yahoo.com says:

    Wow Jamie I love this! I am on the other side of this story and I am the mom who ALWAYS had some sort of conflict with the stepmom, from demanding the kids call her mom to emailing my kids teacher daily, I just felt she was "marking her territory." Looking back over the past few years I cannot help but feel so childish! Now that she is the ex stepmom and my kids are likely working on #2 I cannot help but think how sad I am to no longer have her help, I only wish I would have been more grateful at the time, she was doing her honest best to help raise these little humans. I guess I grew a lot and now that she is the ex step mom I still invite her to games and make sure the kids go say hi, she was a huge part of my boys life for quite some time and I am thankful that she loved them as much as she did or does. So thank you to all of you stepmoms who put up with us overbearing, territorial moms and still love our children.

    • jamiescrimgeour@live.ca says:

      Thank-you so much Chelsey! As stepmoms, it can be hard to find our place in it all! I love that you two still keep in touch!

  4. laniemarie42@gmail.com says:

    You wrote this in such an honest but non attacking way!
    As a step mom who really does like to be involved, my step daughter asks me to be, and my partner has expressed feeling like a better parent because of me…I love how you kinda bluntly yet still gently pointed out that YES active step parents in a perfect world should be able to go…but really it’s just a conference. No big deal.

    Luckily for my situation the school has been very understanding of the situation while we all navigate this new territory. We have separate school work bins ( so neither mom or dad miss out on art/papers), there is a website that updates everything about the school that we have different accounts for, and parent conferences are separate!

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